Wednesday, January 6, 2010

On My Knees

I don't think too many of us get through life without some sort of challenge - body, mind, or spirit.   We all have something.  Our Yoga practice provides many tools to face these obstacles.  

I had a recent wake up call on many levels this past week.    I am currently on crutches.   My rare joint disease has re-announced its presence in my right knee.   For over a year, thanks to a team of professionals (bodyworkers, chiropractor, acupuncture/homeopathy) as well as a focused therapeutic approach to both my Yoga & Pilates practices, I have been relatively pain free.   And when I hear stories of others who have this disease, I am awed by our bodies ability to bring us to our knees.

Most of all, I am grateful for my support system.   Family & friends, students & colleagues, wellness providers & my senior teachers have all taught me something.   They have shared with me insights & ideas.   They have listened & pontificated.    Each, in some way, has shown me the way.

Last night, I was able to begin some active Yoga therapy on my body.   I can not even begin to express how grateful I am for John Friend's ability to distill complex ideas into a comprehensible system called Anusara Yoga that allows you to work pain free.   His Universal Principles of Alignment are the foundation of the solution for me.   Combining Anusara's methodology with some of the amazing therapeutic techniques I've learned from Jenny Otto & my Pilates training, I was able to integrate as well as create space & length.    With my Anatomy Trains knowledge (thank you Tom Meyers), I have been able to unlock some of the myofascia as well.

Like many others, managing pain will most likely be a life long process for me.   Pain will knock on my door throughout my life - affecting my body, mind, and spirit.   Being able to be present and breathe with the pain is something I have learned, too, from my practice.   Using my breath to expand the places that need space as well as connecting with my breath as a means to connect with my life force - has also been a powerful practice.

While I may be humbled and literally on bended knee, I am not down.   My gaze is inward and my heart lifts upward.   Thanks to the practice.   Ishvara Pranidhana.